On The Anniversary Of D-Day, Let Me Remind You What REAL Courage Is

Posted on Mon 06/08/2015 by


20110728_AllenWest1RBBy LTC Allen West (U.S. Army Ret) ~

Friday evening I spoke in Daphne Alabama to the Baldwin County GOP on the subject of the individual responsibility to preserve liberty. It was their “Celebration of Patriotism” event but one thing we must re-learn in America is the call of patriots. An integral part of being a true patriot is the moral courage to make a stand against the tentacles of tyranny – after all that is how our nation began. But what perplexes me is how our culture has become so confused on what courage really is.

20150607_jennerd_dayww2soldiersThis past week there were so many – including our own president – who took to the airwaves to profess the courageous actions of one person who decided to transform from being a man into a woman. I found that response to be rather, well, shall we say, quite over the top. Then again, somewhere in hidden rooms people are deciding the new standards of courage, coolness, and acceptance. So I think that at this late hour, 11:24pm Central Time. I will offer a reminder to America of what courage was and still is.

This time 71 years ago, there were men who boarded airplanes based in England. Their flight path would take them over the English Channel to Normandy where their mission was to jump in behind enemy lines. Their responsibility was to restore liberty to those who had been living under the yoke of tyranny – Naziism. These men of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions had to secure roads, key bridges, and prevent German reinforcements in order to set the conditions for what would come the following morning at day break…Operation Overlord, D-Day.

It was to be the greatest amphibious invasion known to man. Courage is jumping into the night and for some at airspeeds higher than normal and from heights lower than normal. Courage was for some to have their equipment packs torn away – including their weapons. Courage was to be strewn all over the battlefield as the aircraft missed drop zones – yet they fought. Courage was to be dropped in the middle of a town on top of German forces, St. Mere Eglise, and fight on your way down…many killed, many captured.

Today, there are generations of Europeans who live in freedom and have liberty because there were those who took responsibility to defend it – with their lives. The selfish act of one person to alter himself from what God had created is hardly courageous and has no benefit for the greater advancement of mankind.

Today, June 6th, we remember courage, all these 71 years later. Seventy-one years from now, who will remember Bruce Jenner?

You see, courage is being on a landing craft knowing what lies ahead, but when that ramp drops you charge. Courage is scaling the heights of Pont du Hoc to take out German gun emplacements that could threaten your fellow Soldiers on the beaches of Omaha and Utah. Courage are the words of one Brigadier General Teddy Roosevelt Jr. who even with arthritis led the combat assault of the 4th Infantry Division, with a cane, and uttered these famed words after realizing they were at the wrong landing site, “We’ll start the war from right here” – he was killed 36 days later.

If you want to see real courage, visit the World War II Memorial today. Find a man who served and jumped from the skies into Normandy, climbed the rock walls of Pont du Hoc, or hit the beaches of Omaha and Utah. If you want to see the results of courage, just look at the Memorial cemetery at Normandy, and realize the gratitude of the people who were the beneficiaries of the sacrifice of young American men.

Real courage isn’t that which pop culture or a presidential tweet acclaims, it has a lasting effect. It’s not just part of a voracious news cycle but it stands the test of time and its memory is passed on from generations to generations.

Our challenge as a nation is to stop allowing the whims of progressive socialists to redefine what courage is – just as a deserter can be touted as having served with honor and distinction. How many of the liberal media outlets will stop and pay homage to true American courage this day? How many tweets will go out? How many World War II veterans will all of a sudden have a million social media followers?

Well, the good thing is that most of those vets don’t care. They didn’t commit their acts of bravery for reward. They did it simply because they knew liberty comes with responsibility. And those who take up the mantle of responsibility to protect and preserve liberty are the most courageous of Americans. They will not be on the cover of Vanity Fair – but then again, they don’t want to be.

They had a rendezvous with destiny and the stories of their courage will live on forever. They were All-American, Screaming Eagles, Rangers, Blue and Grey, Duty First, and Steadfast and Loyal.

They are epic reminders of the American legacy of courage.

Contributing Editor Lt. Col (Retired) Allen West served 22 years in the US Army and represented Florida’s 22nd Congressional District in the US House of Representatives from 2011-2013.

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